February 24th, 2013 | University

Monday’s Buzz: 2.25.13

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng discusses the Chinese criminal justice system at Yale on Friday.
Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng discusses the Chinese criminal justice system at Yale on Friday. Photo by Samantha Gardner.

THE NEWS

  • Though Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Brown offer health insurance coverage for students to receive gender-reassignment surgery, Yale is still reviewing its policies for the procedure. Though the Yale Health Plan does not currently offer students insurance for gender-reassignment surgeries, coverage was extended to faculty and staff at the managerial and professional levels in 2011 and to the unionized workforce last month. Paul Genecin, director of University Health Services, said he has noticed “increasing interest” both at Yale and other Ivy League institutions in offering insurance coverage for the procedure. Yale Health has received “a small number” of requests from students for gender-related surgery insurance coverage in the past, he said, and changes to student benefits are currently “under consideration.”
  • On Friday afternoon, Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese civil rights activist, shared his personal experiences in the Chinese legal system as a barefoot lawyer. At a panel sponsored by the China Law Center, Chen and two other panelists — New York University Law School professor Jerome A. Cohen ’51, LAW ’55, who is the director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute and played a central role in Chen’s leaving China, and New York University Law School professor Ira Belkin, the executive director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute — discussed different aspects of the Chinese criminal justice system as well as structural and systematic difficulties within it. Chen said the greatest threat to the well-being of China’s legal system is that the Communist Party of China is above the law.
  • On Saturday, 22 speakers from across the world descended on campus for TEDxYale’s second annual conference. Audience members from the Yale community packed the Shubert Theater for the seven-hour event, called “Solve for y.” The day was divided into four sessions, titled “Hypothesize,” “Experiment,” “Theorize” and “Predict,” and offered ticket-holders the opportunity to hear from speakers as wide-ranging as New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. to Yale professors, students and alumni.
THE WEATHER

High of 42 degrees, low of 27 degrees, mostly sunny.

THE FOOD

In the colleges

Breakfast: Steelcut Oats, Waffle Bar, Lemon Poppy Muffin

Lunch: Vegetable Soup Pistou, Split Pea Soup With Ham, Chef’s Choice Frittata, Penne with Tofu & Winter Vegetables, “Old Country” Porketta, All-Natural Grilled Chicken Breast, All Beef Grilled Hot Dog, Grilled Garden Burger, All-Natural Grilled Cheeseburger, All-Natural Grilled Burger, Roasted Potatoes with Olives & Caper Dressing, Fresh Market Vegetable, White Bean Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette, Peanut Butter Cookie

Dinner: Vegetable Soup Pistou, Split Pea Soup With Ham, Spicy Black Bean Gumbo, Berkeley Mac & Cheese, Barbequed Pulled Beef, Groundnut Stew, All-Natural Grilled Chicken Breast, Grilled Garden Burger, All-Natural Grilled Cheeseburger, All-Natural Grilled Burger, Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish, Grits, Mixed Greens Southern Style, Fried Fresh Okra, Roasted Broccoli & Farro Salad, Southern Salad, Sweet Potato Pie, Peach Cobbler

In Commons

Breakfast: Maple Flavored Organic Oatmeal, Waffle Bar, Omelets To-Order, Buttermilk Pancakes, Cage-Free Scrambled Egg Whites, Cage-Free Scrambled Eggs, Home Fries, Lemon Poppy Muffin

Lunch: Southwest Black Bean Soup, Spinach & Gruyere Tart, Fajita Beef, Portabella Fajita, Guacamole, Penne, All-Natural Grilled Chicken Breast, Pepperoni Pizza, Fresh Vegetable Pizza, Cheese Pizza, Green Bean & Tofu, Sesame Beef, Vegetable Fried Rice, Jasmine Rice, Chickpeas & Tomato Pita Sandwich, Spanish Rice, Fresh Market Vegetable, Sauteed Carrots With Dill, White Bean Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette, Peanut Butter Cookie